24 June 2015

Knitting woes and other daily snippets

Another week come and gone and another batch of projects gathering dust as I deal with my knitting incompetence.  I had to rip out a large section of my beautiful sweater because I had forgotten to measure it partway and made it too long in the body.  Great.  It would have been more like a dress than a sweater if I'd have kept going.  I almost did.  In the end, I figured I wanted a sweater, so a sweater is what I'll make.  Heartbreaking to tear out all those hours though.  Probably unravelled half my work.  Oh well.  C'est la vie.

I might need to take a break and start a summer dress for J.  I've been itching to do one in this pretty blue checkered print I bought last year.  That and S is about ripe for a little mini-messenger bag of her own.  (What almost-two year old doesn't love bags?)

Anyhow.  It's popsicle season.  Oh yes siree.  We've made several batches already.  Love having fresh fruit on hand!  Also finished little gifts for M's teachers.  Personalized peg people!  The kids love them.  Hoping the teachers do too!

I am still struggling to find my groove again since I got pregnant.  Our whole schedule has been thrown off since then.  It's really disconcerting.  Some days are great and I get a ton of work done, the kids manage their chores, their work, their play and food gets on the table when it should.  Other days (and I feel like there are a good deal more of these...) it's a struggle for the food alone.  Omelettes are great, so are sandwiches and really anything that can be thrown together quickly.  Leftovers are my friend.

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come when baby arrives.  I mean, I anticipate a period of adjustment where things are rocky.  But I really really really hope that I can find my "sea-legs" soon after.  I'd say that's the only thing that has me a little anxious about #4.  Most mamas I've spoken to with 4 kids or more say that the third was their biggest adjustment.  For me, so far, going from 0 to 1 was my biggest adjustment.  The rest weren't as bad as I thought they'd be.  :)  Maybe it helps in some ways to imagine the worst?

I did a bit of school prep work today while D took the kids swimming.  Love that man.  Don't know where he gets the energy to do things with them.  A trip to the grocery store and I'm bushed.  Anyhow, I'm trying to get as much done as I can when I have any energy.  O second trimester, don't fail me now!

Enjoy your week!

Joining Ginny and friends for this week's Yarn Along, and Nicole for this week's Crafting On.

15 June 2015

A little rearrangement

We did a little furnitre shuffling this past week to accommodate a new set of bookshelves.  (Have I mentioned yet how much I love Ikea?)  And I must say that I just love how it looks!  We are using it for all our school supplies, work and such props.  It's wonderful having it all in one place.  The kids have already been going on their own to a shelf to take down and work on an activity they are familiar with.  And I'm noticing that clean up is a breeze too.  I can't imagine how we lived without these shelves!  

This is J doing some chalk art.  (I think she said that was a portrait of me.)  And the second photo is showing her working on pouring liquids.  We do a lot of baking, so those kind of things are definitely helpful in a tangible, everyday way.  :)

The kids really are gearing up for summer.  I mean, the weather is consistently warm, and so they are full of plans.  I haven't really sat down to think about what we need to do this summer, except maybe with our curriculum goals.  I'd like to have some activities lined up for July and August - nothing crazy... I'm still exhausted these days and nausea does come and go - something for us to use when we need a change or some new fun.    

D decided we need to plant more spinach and parsley, so we kept a couple extra pots.  Guess what we're doing today!  Actually, today has been a great day so far.  Cleaned the bathrooms, folded the laundry and working on the dirty pile, swept the house and balcony, and set up the play kitchen outside.  A summer space for little ones.  

Hope you have a cheery and productive week!  I'm off to take my afternoon nap.  (Can't last without one...)

4 June 2015

A bit of green and some knitting

A gentle post with some pops of green  from our balcony garden, and some knitting news.  Of course we are deep in radishes by now.  :)  Spinach has sprouted and parsley is poking its head out too.  Just waiting for the mint to come.  I am nervous about mint.  It's my first time growing it from seed.  I try not to check on it all the time so I won't be disappointed at each glance.  Gardens can be nail-biters sometimes!  

This is the first baby sweater update.  As you can see, there's still a ways to go.  No worries.  I have nothing but time.  I've been itching to knit something in this gray, but I'm wondering if it's more masculine than neutral?  I guess I can always add pink trim if it comes down to that.  Or really girlie buttons.  Also, I can't decide whether I prefer knitting or crocheting.  This from someone who just started knitting seriously.   It's a very nice conundrum to find oneself in.  Yarn, I've missed you.  

PS - There's something so right about knitting for baby.  Despite the summer heat, it just feels good.  (Thank God for cool breezes and AC...)

1 June 2015

Childhood & some neighbours in need

As my belly swells further these days, I am reminded of how fast children grow.  Look at these little ones!  They used to be much smaller, I assure you.  But last year's shorts don't fit anymore, and new shoes are needed too.  (Not to mention growing appetites!)  It is beautiful to watch when I can look back through photos and videos of the sweetness that is their childhood.  

Trees are very attractive to a six year old.  And when big brother climbs up, little sisters just have to join.  Crab apple trees are great for little ones to climb.  They always seem to have that large sit in the middle before thick branches begin to fork away from the trunk.  We had a great time at the park that day.  Beautiful weather, and hours of outdoor adventures.  

The weather has cooled down this weekend, but it looks to be a temporary blip.  Looks like more sunshine and heat for the rest of the week.  None of us can wait for the strawberries to debut en masse!  D and I are planning a trip to the Kitchener-Waterloo area farmer markets to pick up some produce in bulk.  We have been told it's more reasonable than Toronto prices, and with the Amish and Mennonite communities around, we're hoping for organic.  (Pretty pricey in a big city...)  I seriously have my jam jars counted and ready.  Strawberry jam ranks pretty highly around here.

I am currently working on a few projects here in the meantime.  Most impressively, I have started knitting a sweater for baby.  I'll try to share it this week.  This is my first knitting project.  My gauge is probably a little wonky, and every so often, a crooked stitch appears.  Despite all that, I love it.  I've always wanted to knit and baby clothes are a manageable project to start with.  I've not gotten very far, but a few rows here and there are just the thing for me now.  I am easing back into some old hobbies.  Things that I can pick up and put down as needed.  (Imperative with an almost 2-year old.)

I read this article today and my heart is just broken.  So much suffering for these people and throughout the Middle East.  So much suffering.  I don't know how they are able to live through it.  What's more, I can't believe how much we practically ignore their plight here.  Those faces, those cries, they rise up like condemnation for every convenience I enjoy.  (Ahem, we had delicious cream of broccoli soup and sandwiches for lunch...)  As the Good Samaritan showed, these strangers living so far away are our neighbours in every sense.  May God comfort them as only He knows how.  And may we not forget to remember them in our own lives; to help shoulder their burden in any way possible; to love truly and completely even those whom we can't see.

12 May 2015

Back for now

After a rather unplanned and lengthy hiatus, I'm not sure how to return here.  It's been a rocky few months around here to say the least.  I've not been myself.  See, we're expecting #4 this fall and morning sickness has been a nigh constant companion.  Usually I try to live in the moment and keep reminding myself that the present is best.  I can't tell you how much I am looking ahead to the next few weeks where, hopefully, this nausea abates.  

Otherwise, everything is fine and dandy.  I am not working on any projects.  Laundry is a big enough project for now.  I am in the slow lane these days.  I count little victories.  Dinner.  Dishes.  (Most D does the dishes, blessed man.)  Getting out to the park.  Things like that.  

Yesterday evening I did some light planting ahead of the long weekend while the kids rode bikes with Papa.  We wanted to have more space for the kids to play on the balcony, but I'm not sure if I could nix the garden completely.  We have a little wooden play kitchen and I'm thinking to put it outside for the summer.

Of course we are still plugging away at lessons.  I say plugging away, but it's not really as dry as it sounds.  Except for me, maybe.  Everything is hard and dry for me!  The kids are motoring along.  We have an Arabic teacher coming every week, which was a miraculous find for us.  :)  She is wonderful and the kids love her.  Other than that, M is starting multiplication and he is oh so ready for it.  He is also reading to us almost daily.  His reading has improved drastically over the past few months.  It's a wonder how far patience and a little daily effort will take you.  J is also really coming along.  Her reading is much more confident, and she's getting faster at spelling with the big moveable alphabet.  

Our course of study is not very rigorous, especially given this mama's fatigue.  We do a little something every day.  A little spelling, a few fun sums (M's favourite subject is math), a page or two (or 10 if he's willing) from Danny and the Dinosaur.  Sometimes we nix the book work and stick to house work.  Cleaning windows, folding laundry with mom, dusting, mopping, vacuuming.  I'm sure I've said it before, but my kids love vacumming.  And lego.  We all love lego.  (Except maybe D who's constantly stepping on it...)  

Anyhow.  Though by no means comprehensive, I guess that'll do for an update.  I hope I won't be MIA too much anymore.  Fingers crossed.  

Wishing you a great week.

16 March 2015

Break (not that kind...)

Just came back from Michigan and the monastery there.  Another wonderful, though last-minute trip. So wonderful to see how God's providence orchestrates even the smallest details of our lives.  In the middle of Lent, a call to come.  And so we came.  And here we are, back again from our weekend break and wonderfully recharged.

It's March break now and M is home for the week.  That is a treat for us.  The kids have lots planned for the week.

First off, a treasure hunt.  Preferably in a sandy or earthy area.  (Very good for digging.)  Then a map will be drawn to show all locations where treasure was found.  Then, some carving.  Probably a house built - a real log cabin in the woods, if you please.  And of course a picnic, a trip to visit the cousins, and the maple syrup festival.  I don't know if got it all down, but you get the idea.  Very creative plans have been fermenting in little minds...

I doubt I'll be around much in the coming week or two for that matter.  (What's new?)  There has been a little school work going on despite the warmer weather.  The kids are learning arabic, so there was a new alphabet board we made.  :)  Not really inspiring perhaps, though it sure is pur-tty to me...

Also, we opened the last jar of peaches canned from last summer.  So good.  So good.  Summer in a jar.  The kids ate a bowl for breakfast.  Then they quickly began planning how many jars we needed to can this year.  Hilarious to listen to.

I know there aren't many photos of creative pursuits these days.  We've put aside a lot of things during Lent.    Sewing, crocheting, crafting, art.  It's not so much for lack of time, though Lord knows how often that is the case.  It's more like an almost unconscious movement towards inner stillness?  A desire to meet Him in the silence after the storm - or perhaps the silence in the midst of the storm.   It seems like there may be a moment here and there.  Most of the time though, there is more reading, more services, more contemplation.  A special season  of the year set aside for just that.

May your week be blessed.

1 March 2015

Letting off steam and waiting for spring

I haven't been on this space in a while.  A few things going on to keep me away.  Lots of work getting french materials ready for the summer as well as running the home and working with the kids.  Also kind of slower with Lent.  And sometimes not slower.  But that's usually because of the kids.  :)  They never slow down.  Except to sleep.  And maybe read.  (I love reading time...)

We had some dear friends over this evening.  A bit of a last minute gathering, but so wonderful.  So needed.  To connect and share and go deep.  There is strength in that, and comfort.  The kids were bouncing off the walls though, and for some reason it rocked my boat more than usual.  I mean, I struggle with patience on a good day, but today was not one of my finest.  I felt like I was almost picking fights with them... kind of like a teenager.  Maybe PMS is on the way... yeesh!  

At the end of the day though, all they really needed was to let off some steam.  Things improved once I sent them out the door.  They ran in the hallways over and over on our floor until they were too tired to keep going.  Then we made donuts and had them with fruit.  Cause if you're going to have donuts, you should be healthy about it... Riiiiight.

Then they begged me to sleep beside each other on the floor.  They've been begging for almost a week.  Tonight, I caved in and set up the mattress with some pillows.  This is what I came in to see when I went to check on them later.  (Obviously it was way darker than what the picture shows...)  So sweet.  So innocent and full of childlike love.  They were practically holding hands.  

And that made it all better.  (Well, that and having the dishes done.)  The whole day, my bad mood, my yelling, my stressing out over silly things.  Gone.  

I guess I needed a little TLC too... even if it came from sleeping babies showing it to each others.

PS - Despite the slew of recent -30 days, we are eagerly looking to spring nowadays, as you can tell!  We've planted some radish and parsley seeds in little "planters" for the kids.  Actually, it was M's idea and he started it all.  Now we have 3 little containers sitting on our table basking in the sun.  Stay tuned for the finale!